A few weeks ago I started mentoring for DesignLab, a UX Design Academy that has a great system to allow communications between students and mentors.
In this process I’m learning A LOT. Every time I interact with a student is an incredible opportunity to improve myself.
I wanted to share the most important insight that I’ve had in these first sessions.
And this is: the importance of accountability.
When I first started as an entrepreneur, I quickly realized that the most important thing is to be accountable for the work that we do.
And this took another dimension when I had to report on different stakeholders (clients, bosses, project managers) about my current situation, and how it affected the project’s advance.
See, the thing is to give visibility to the things that we do on a daily basis. Without it, our efforts may probably become invisible.
I currently use a really simple technique to maintain myself on the track, and at the same time inform others about what happened.
How I do it
I simply send an e-mail everyday, that has the following bulletpoints:
Daily report September 22, 2016
+ What I did the last workable day?
+ What will I do next workable day?
+ What blocks my way?
First thing that I do when I start working in a project on any given day is to create an e-mail draft and paste this template.
So, as soon as I start doing things, I try to keep updating the first item.
When blockers appear, I list them in the third item. This is specially important to avoid claims related to delays.
The idea is that if I’m sending this to a Project Manager or direct report, I’ll get help from them with that.
When day ends, I complete the second and fourth items.
And then, I send the e-mail to the people that need to be updated about my progress.
When the new workable day starts, I simply open the last report and prioritize my job from what I wrote there.
I must say that this works as a charm not only when I working with other people, but to keep track of my stuff in a solo project.
It is really easy to loose track when I have a lot of things going on, so this is a nice way to keep myself on the important things.